The first survey (2 January–9 May 2021) of María Berrío’s art includes two new pieces. Berrío’s large-scale, brilliantly coloured collages are meticulously crafted from unique papers sourced from South America and Asia, especially Japan. She creates scenes within the realm of ‘magical realism’ a hallmark of Latin American literature to which she relates her work; but, she is also firmly engaged with contemporary practices and the art of her peers.
Lush landscapes and modest domestic interiors are dominated by women who gaze directly at the viewer. The inaction of these ethereal and expressionless characters belies the turmoil and anxiety of their passage to their current surroundings while unflinching in the certainty of their presence. They also characterize Berrío’s own path. Her family history is a testament to the experiences which inspire her subject matter as an immigrant and independent woman in America. She is native to Bogotá, Colombia, (born, 1982) and traveled as a young adult with her family to America to escape the country’s unstable political climate. When her family returned, Berrío was compelled by her devotion as an artist to remain alone in America and successfully completed a BFA in 2004 at the Parsons School of Design and an MFA in 2007 from the School of Visual Arts.
Image: Installation view, María Berrío: Esperando mientras la noche florece (Waiting for the Night to Bloom) at the Norton Museum of Art
All works © María Berrío
Courtesy Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, Florida